In Dashiell Hammett’s THE MALTESE FALCON (published in 1930 in BLACK MASK magazine, in book form the following year) there are a number of oblique references.
In Sam Spade’s first encounter with Wilmer, the gunman employed by Caspar Gutman (the fat man), Spade says to the gunsel “Baumes rush?” This should have been printed as “Baume’s rush?”…it’s a ref to the then-attorney general of New York, a guy named Baume, who managed to have a lot of cheap hoods kicked out of the city on various charges in an effort to do a little spring cleaning. This later mutated to “bum’s rush.”
Neat, huh? Now, help me with one.
After the first night Spade and Brigid O’Shaughnessy spend together, Brigid comes “Out of the bathroom whistling EN CUBA.” In a later scene, when the principal characters are waiting for the Falcon to be delivered, Spade also “whistled two lines of EN CUBA.”
My buddy Joe Gores, the private eye writer and Hammett expert, asked for my help in identifying this song.
It’s indefinite enough that I can’t do it with search engines…does anyone out there know it? Or is anyone better at computer searches than I am (THAT’S not hard).